Friday, March 02, 2007

5 Stories You Likely Haven't Heard About

1. David Suzuki and Charitable Tax Status
During the last Federal election a number of outspoken critics of the moral stance taken by the Liberal Party of Canada received calls from Revenue Canada bureaucrats. At least one, Bishop Fred Henry, was warned that his organization could lose its charity tax status if he continued to criticize the government's stance on issues such as "same-sex marriage," abortion and divorce. Henry was critical of any and all politicians who took opposing views. He was reminded that the charities act requires that he abstain from partisan political activism.
Suzuki, Canada's leading voice for environmentalism, has been traveling the country, speaking at schools and other functions. In a Calgary school he attacked the Federal Conservatives in front of an assembly of sixth-graders, admitting he was directing his comments more to the adults in the room. The question is whether it's okay for the left to participate in partisan politics while keeping their charity status, or if they will be held to the same standard as Christian organizations. We'll let you know if Revenue Canada takes any action. Follow this link to read the original story.
This story is the height of political incorrectness and flies in the face of everything we hear about in the press. I've been told on numerous occasions that gays and lesbians are born that way and that it's genetic, etc... The evidence for that is still forthcoming, by the way.
Now we hear of Charlene Cothran, founder and editor of VENUS magazine, not only "coming out," but inviting others to join her. It's created a firestorm of criticism around her from the usual suspects, but you need to read the story for yourself. She wrote an article in her own magazine about her experience.
3. German Authorities Take Child Away From Parents Because of Homeschooling.
This story is another bizarre one, I first talked about it a few months ago. It's hard to believe, but homeschooling is illegal in Germany, under a law enacted by none other than Hitler himself. The law was designed to enable the Nazis to indoctrinate children into their way of thinking. For some reason it is still on the books, and has been used to remove 15 year old Melissa Busekros from her home and place her in an undisclosed location. Her siblings may face the same fate.
An organization named "Parents of the World" has launched a boycott of German companies to try to bring pressure on the local government to reverse its decision. It raises the whole question of parental vs. state authority. Check out the article by Gudrun Schultz on the subject.
4. Former ACLU Leader Arrested On Child Porn Charges
I include this for purposes of fairness. We all heard ad nauseum of the events surrounding Ted Haggard's fall from grace. It was featured repeatedly on all of the major networks, newspapers and news websites for weeks and became the subject of many a comedian's routine. He came under special criticism because of the hypocrisy of heading a Christian organization espousing morality while leading a private life that opposed it.
Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, the former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, was arrested late last week by federal authorities and charged with receipt and possession of child pornography in violation of federal law. He has previously lobbied against internet filtering of web sites in public libraries and pushed for "maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet." Easy access to pornography is fast becoming one of the greatest social problems families face. Read the full story here.
5. Iraqi Christians - Does Anybody Care?
The Christian community in Iraq is one of the oldest anywhere in the world. They have survived generations of persecution and somehow learned to survive in an often hostile environment. Now there is a war in Iraq, largely fueled by the animosity between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. What both groups can agree on, though, is that Christians are a common enemy.
How bad is it? The latest figures from the UN estimate that around 3.7 million Iraqis - 1 in 8 - have been forced out of their homes by the violence since 2003. Christians, who made up only 3-4% of the population of Iraq, account for nearly a quarter of the refugee population. The number of Christians left in Iraq has fallen from 1.4 million in the 1980s to less than 500,000 now. Those who stay often face violence and/or death. An e-petition has been launched in the U.K. to help protect the rights of Iraqi Christians. For more of the story click here.
Let me know if you found this helpful - I might make hard-to-find news stories a regular feature.